Prior to his impressive knockout win over Robert Whittaker at UFC 243, Israel Adesanya also busted out a pretty iconic walkout, as he had a fully choreographed dance all the way to the cage. Apart from adding an entertainment factor to an already big fight, it was also a great way for Adesanya’s personality to shine on a grand stage.
Dana White isn’t a huge fan of it though, and says he has to “battle” with the UFC middleweight champ about those flashy entrances each time out.
“Well he’s an interesting guy anyways, but yeah, I don’t love it. (Laughs) I don’t love it. I battle with him every time we do it, you know? I keep it as minimal as possible. I like guys that just walk right into the Octagon, they’re serious, they’re all business,” White told TMZ Sports (transcript via MMA Mania).
“But you know what? It works for Israel. It works for him. He’s got the personality to pull it off, and obviously the guy can actually really dance. We have a lot of people who dance their way into the Octagon and they should probably never dance anywhere,” he said.
Apart from White not being a fan of unique entrances, the UFC’s Reebok uniform deal has also curbed a lot of the individuality and showmanship that has long been part of mixed martial arts history.
Despite this, Adesanya has managed to standout and have his personality shine because of things like his dancing, anime fandom, and in cage performances. It’s also the reason he has secured a multi-year endorsement deal with Puma recently.